Monday, July 21, 2008

re bellows

Hi, this post is just to enthuse about my new bellows. The original five-fold bellows on my 1937 Wheatstone treble English had gotten leaky again. I had already had them patched at the Button Box once, but they were leaking again, so I decided it was time to get new bellows. I had some concern about break-in time, as the bellows on my wife's early-1970s Crabb treble always seemed a little stiff to me, especially compared to the butter-smooth bellows on my Wheatstone, but after seeing some of Bob Tedrow's bellows on a visit to his shop (my wife has kin in Birmingham, AL, so I usually stop by Homewood when I'm in town), I decided to save up for some new bellows from him.

Now I have had my new bellows for three months, and, boy, am I satisfied! My original bellows were 5-fold, and between that and the leakiness, I was frequently running low on air when playing sustained chords. Not so now; my new bellows have 7 folds, which is unusual for an English. Between that and the airtightness, I have an almost ridiculous amount of air for any purpose. On top of that, I needn't have worried about the stiffness of the bellows, as they are as soft and quick as the old, original bellows had been. They lack _nothing_ compared to the Rosalie Dipper bellows on our Lachenal baritone, and have one more fold. All in all, I can't recommend these bellows highly enough. BTW, standard disclaimers, etc.



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